Pittsburgh, Pa., Mar 17, 2020 / 11:01 am
Allegheny County prosecutors are appealing a judge's decision to vacate the conviction of Fr. Hugh Lang, who is accused of having assaulted a boy in 2001.
On March 9 Allegheny County Commons Pleas Judge Anthony Mariani said he was granting Fr. Lang a new trial.
He said the priest had been denied a fair trial because the previous judge had allowed prosecutors to submit evidence that Fr. Lang had searched the internet for defense attorney shortly before the 2018 release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report on allegations of clerical sex abuse of minors.
Prosecutors have said the internet search demonstrated "consciousness of guilt," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, while Mariani responded that the search could have been for other reasons, such as looking on behalf an accused colleague, or out of fear of being falsely accused.